Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – NFL, Week 2 (2021)
The Urban Meyer era in Jacksonville didn’t go according to plan. Penciled in as a three-point favorite against the hapless Texans, the Jags found themselves trailing 34-7 late in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Denver traveled to East Rutherford and pounded the Giants in all phases. Teddy Bridgewater looked sharp as the Broncos won their first opener since 2018.
Let’s close in on this week 2 matchup and work our way toward a Broncos vs. Jaguars prediction.
Broncos vs. Jaguars Odds
This look-ahead line was installed at Denver -2.5. Based on Sunday’s findings, the best NFL betting apps quickly adjusted the price to reflect what had transpired. Simply put, Denver looked better than most people thought, and Jacksonville looked horrific.
The result is Denver -6/6.5 across the top mobile betting sites.
We don’t want to overreact to a one-game sample size, but looking back on 2020 data doesn’t do a whole lot either. At least not in this case. The Broncos are being guided by a fresh face at quarterback; everything about the Jaguars system is new and unproven.
Before pulling the trigger on a Broncos vs. Jaguars pick, let’s examine how each team can walk away with a victory.
How the Broncos Can Win
Losing Jerry Jeudy is going to sting. The second-year wideout from Alabama is a crisp route runner who was slated for a big role; replacing him for the next several weeks will require a team effort. Fortunately, Denver’s roster is equipped with multiple guys who can step up. Plus, one of Teddy Bridgewater’s strengths is his ability to progress through his reads and find the open man.
Look for KJ Hamler and Tim Patrick to see an uptick in their snap %, and hope that Courtland Sutton is able to establish his prominence. An equal split between Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon in the backfield was to be expected, although I fully expect the rookie to be featured as the “1A” as the season wears on.
Given that Houston ran for 160 yards against JAX in week 1, Denver could opt to lean on a steady diet of Williams and Gordon. Then again, the Jaguars’ secondary looked lost in week 1. Letting Bridgewater drop back and go to work seems to be more than a feasible plan.
How the Jaguars Can Win
Just chalk everything that we saw up as a missed opportunity and move on. How else can Jacksonville fans stay upbeat after losing to the team that had the lowest projected win total in football?
Trevor Lawrence looked shaky at times, and my fear that Urban Meyer was ill-prepared is turning into a reality. Seriously, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about buying stock in a team that surrendered 37 points to the Texans. However, I’m more than willing to play devil’s advocate.
The #1 overall wound up tossing three touchdowns and amassing more than 330 passing yards. He targeted each of his top three WRs early and often, demonstrating that this offense can sustain drives.
The Jags defense has to make adjustments; that unit can’t play any worse than it played in week 1. Also worth noting, Denver’s set for their second consecutive road trip to the eastern time zone. If Jacksonville doesn’t show up for this one, Meyer supporters will have no choice but to hit the panic button.
Broncos vs. Jaguars Prediction
There’s no basis behind backing the Jags to win this game outright. Teddy Bridgewater completed nearly 78% of his throws and was consistently a step ahead of the Giants’ defense. The Broncos QB will be going up against a defense that made Tyrod Taylor look like a brilliant pocket passer.
At the same time, I’m not ready to deem Denver any sort of genuine contender in the AFC. I’m certainly not ready to cough up -260 that they can win a second consecutive road game in what should be a hostile environment.
Before we crown Denver after their week 1 performance, let’s keep in mind that the Giants might be a really bad football team.
Broncos vs. Jaguars Pick
As you get set to pencil in a Broncos vs. Jaguars betting pick, take a quick peek at week 1 against the spread data. It’s quite revealing.
The underdogs went 9-6 straight up (Chargers won a Pick’em) and were 12-4 against the spread.
This bodes well for the Jaguars in this matchup – here’s what else is working in their favor.
The general public is heavy on Denver; roughly 75% of the spread bets have been placed on the Broncos. When the casual fans are confident about one side, I’m usually running in the opposite direction.
Playing at home in front of a jacked-up crowd for the very first time, this upcoming game has bounce-back performance written all over it for the Jaguars.
I’m holding my breath and saying it reluctantly, but I’m riding with the Jags and the points.